Thursday, 12 March 2015

Game Sixty-Eight: Sens vs. Habs


- Pageau now draws a penalty. This guy, already.

- Sens convert. Soft defensive crease coverage allows Stone to easily redeflect an otherwise harmless shot past Price. The Habs go from well on the road to victory to losing the game in the span of one period.

- Puempel with an idiotic crosscheck to Parenteau's face. He's very lucky he only got 4 minutes. Fully deserved 5 and a game.

- Habs totally fumbling this huge powerplay away.

- Legs aren't there, and neither is any semblance of intensity. Habs blow the man advantage.

- Penalty over, Habs in sleepwalk line change mode, Karlsson completely unmarked comes rolling in on the right wing and beats Price off a simple pass. Price surrenders four goals for the first time in many weeks. Awful awful display of hockey by the Canadiens. Shameful, really.

- Methot now. Everything the Sens are touching right now turns to goals. 

- Doom has arrived in Montreal. Gravity has finally arrived, and everything has crashed back to earth. Habs terrible system has finally collapsed and dues are now being paid. Have I used enough metaphors yet? This team is in trouble. Big trouble.


- Clunky giveaway at Sens blue line, De la Rose makes a rookie error by not tracking his check, which was Karlsson. That's usually not going to end well, and his blast, possibly tipped by a scrambling De la Rose, beats Price high. 2-1.

- Patches now being given credit for first goal, now has 33 on the year. 40 totally within his grasp.

- He still might not being impacting the scoresheet, but Eller is having another strong game. Effort is strong, he's doing a fine job checking. Once the snakebite wears off, surely points will follow.

- Petry does such a nice job feeding, instead of dumping the puck forward. Therrien will soon start disliking him for that.

- Zone entires for the Habs have been pretty easy, as long as Karlsson isn't on the ice.

- Goodbye lead. Poor zone retreat by Habs forwards, Pageau skates around Price who overchases the play, and banks the puck off a scrambling Plekanec and into the net. Habs completely undone by speed there. Irony, given that ought be their chief offensive weapon. Tie game.

- Mystifying. Habs had the Sens totally on the ropes, only needed one more punch, and then find a way of allowing two sleepy goals. This team looked like a world beater first period, and total chumps in the second. All the momentum is surely with the desperate Ottawa club. Habs are just indifferent. 


- So will we see the dirty Sens tonight or the scummy Sens tonight? 

- Well, so far, although it's very early, Habs have dished out more hits. Attaboys.

- Four minute powerplay. Let's see what Parenteau can muster up. Maybe a little DSP?

-Desharnais cut by that high stick, Plekanec not on the bench. Ut-oh.

- Subban with a blast that Hammond can't pick up. 1-0. Good, fast, aggressive start for the Habs - miles better than two nights ago.

- Goodness me, short handed production. Pacioretty turns Hammond inside out on a break. 2-0. Before the game Darren Dreger put forth the notion that Hammond was better than Price. How's that working out?

- Gilbert called for high stick on Ryan, who fell to the ice as shot. Stick didn't come anywhere near Ryan. Chris Lee makes the call. Yup.

- Good first period for the Habs, one of their better for awhile. Powerplay looked good and produced, forecheck was pleasantly effective, Price looked solid as usual. So far, so good.


Oh, Sens fans. We'd find you so adorable if so many of you weren't appalling human beings. Let's just use this as one of many examples. Okay, this (totally appalling) example too. Anyway, you get the point. Sens fans, including the people they employ, live in a land of delusions, where no matter how many losses are suffered, no matter how thin or terrible their lineup may be, the promised land is always just around the corner.

So Ottawa, go ahead with your little "RED SCARF UNION", whatever that was about, and celebrate your lofty visions of finishing somewhere around 10th place in the Eastern Conference. We Habs fans have better things to do. Such as, wringing our hands over the total lack of offense, the ridiculous, NAY, heroin-like addiction it's acquired relaying on its goaltender to single-handedly win every single game, and its maddening coach, who scratches actually productive forwards, plays productive centers on the wing, puts scoring wingers at center, and pushes 4th line guys to the first line.

But wait. What is that I see?? Is ... that ... a glimmer a light? A ray of hope??

It cannot be. Has common sense finally arrived in Habsland?

Here are the lines tonight:

Line 1: Pacioretty/Desharnais/Gallagher
Line 2: Galchenyuk/Plekanec/Parenteau*
Line 3: Eller/De la Rose/DSP
Line 4: Prust/Mitchell/Weise**

* Yay!

Indeed, P.A. Parenteau returns from oblivion tonight, slotting in the 2nd line (thankfully not the 4th, like the last start). Meanwhile, FINALLY Dale Weise is playing down in the 4th line, which unlike the last 10 days of Flynn/Mitchell futility, actually looks half-decent. Progress!!!

The Sens, bless their hearts, had actual aspirations of making the playoffs after they went on a big winning run in February (combined with a big losing run by the Boston Bruins). Well, those aspirations took a cliff dive two nights ago as Ottawa basically drowned their hopes after losing to the Bruins, putting the Sens 7 points back of 8th place, instead of a possible 3.

That's okay, Ottawa fans. There's always next year, amiright?

In any case, the offensively starved Habs have got to start getting their act in gear as we near the start of the playoffs. The scoring drought has become downright nasty. Witness:

- Alex Galchenyuk: 4 points past 12 games.
- David Desharnais: 2 goals past 14 games.
- Devante Smith-Pelly: 1 measly point since being acquired.
- Lars Eller: 4 points (hoo boy - this is not a typo) past 30 games.

Beyond those players, most of the rest have put up some pretty mediocre numbers. I don't like stating the obvious, but if this team doesn't start to put more pucks on the net, not only will the remainder of the regular season schedule be a painful process, but the post-season will almost be poor, nasty, brutish and short.

Tonight, it's Carey Price against the February pheonom, Andrew Hammond.

Puck drops at 7:40 EST.

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